Six Days Left!

Fresh from the Bach Festival, here is an update of the remaining concerts and events.

Paul Goodwin Bach Festival 2013You can purchase tickets online by clicking here, by calling 831-624-1521 or visiting us at the Sunset Center box office or Carmel Bach Festival offices in Cottage 16. The Sunset Center Theater is located at 9th and San Carlos in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Tonight, Concertmaster Peter Hanson showcases members of the Festival strings in a dazzling program. Tuesday night, Dramaturge David Gordon brings everyone through centuries of French music – from Mauchat to Bizet’s Carmen. On Wednesday, we return to the Carmel Mission (this concert is sold out) and on Thursday pianist Stephen Prutsman infuses Bach with jazz. Friday night’s concert includes Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the festival closes Saturday evening with Best of the Fest, which starts at a new time of 7:30 PM. Continue reading

Thrilling Monday & Tuesday Concerts

Peter Hanson Bach Festival 2013For 76 years the joyful impact of great Carmel Bach Festival concerts has been a unique pleasure of our Central Coast region. Shared by patrons who return year after year, alongside newcomers making musical discoveries, the festival often feels like an extended family where boundaries between musicians, staff, concertgoers and benefactors melt away.

Tuesday night at Carmel’s Sunset Center marked the midpoint and heart of this summer’s French-themed musical immersion. Maestro Paul Goodwin and festival dramaturge David Gordon collaborated for “Inside the Music: French Beginning to End,” an opulent words-and-music exploration that wins the prize for the top feel-good program of the season. This lively tour of eight centuries of French musicality also ranks among the finest of these popular Tuesday evenings since they began nearly a decade ago. Continue reading

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Returns to Carmel

The Carmel Bach Festival has brought back Christmas in July after almost 15 years.  With British artistic director Paul Goodwin at the helm, the organization has renewed its interest in placing J. S. Bach’s joyful six-cantata “Christmas Oratorio” into the annual Sunday afternoon masterwork rotation.   Goodwin led the soloists, chorale and orchestra with filigree precision in a brisk and elegant account of the oratorio this week.  Continue reading

Review: Opening Night Carmel Bach

Brass Ensemble Bach Festival 2013“You know I had to do it!” said trombonist Sue Mudge, director of the Carmel Bach Festival’s Tower brass music.    Song sheets in French and English were passed out on the Sunset Center’s outdoor upper terrace for the sing-a-long she was about to lead with gusto.
“Tomorrow is Bastille Day and for this French Bach Festival that means we all must sing “La Marseillaise.”
And so, Saturday night the first Tower brass segment of the 76th season of Carmel Bach culminated in patrons singing out the French national anthem in the evening air. Continue reading

Carmel Bach 2013

Carmel’s glorious international Bach Festival serves up a generous dose of French panache in its musical banquet this summer.     With a July 13 opening for this 76th season, the music making begins earlier than usual, barely a week after the 4th, and wraps up with the “Best of the Fest” farewell on the 27th.    Continue reading

Celebrating David Gordon’s 25 Bach Festivals

As a member of the artistic staff of the Carmel Bach Festival, David Gordon is listed as “Adams vocal master class director, dramaturge and lecturer.”  This may sound modest. After all, at a busy music festival leadership colleagues often take on multiple responsibilities. But Gordon’s contributions over the years to this world-renowned event have been prodigious. Continue reading

Review of Mark Adamo’s “Gospel of Mary Magdalene”

When it comes to operatic world premieres, experience suggests it’s wise to keep your expectations low and your artistic tolerance high.    Opera has evolved into a complex art form combining many virtuoso elements that must weave together with style and excellence for success of the whole.   The world premiere of Mark Adamo’s “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene,” at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House last week, sadly stumbled and lost its way.   Continue reading


bing_ch_interiorWhen a community acquires a new world-class performance hall, it can be an exhilarating experience.  Many of you will remember the excitement surrounding Carmel’s newly renovated state-of-the-art Sunset Center 10 years ago.  So it is with Stanford University’s spacious and elegant Bing Concert Hall, which opened earlier this year to speeches, fanfare and a smart display of the hall’s flexibility and acoustical suppleness.

At 842 seats, Bing is roughly the same size as Carmel’s Sunset Theater.  The hall’s design, however, is radically different.  Architect Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects created a series of tiered or terraced sections that seat the audience completely around the stage—a so-called “vineyard” oval design that allows patrons to see each other as well as the performers. Continue reading